tv NBC Nightly News NBC March 18, 2015 6:30pm-7:01pm EDT
warmer. >> we certainly hope so. >> we have to look ahead. for all of us on nbc10 thanks for watching. on this wednesday night, museum massacre. terrorists open fire killing tourists and taking hostages. tonight, the fire fight as it happened and the hunt for those still on the loose. death threats against caroline kennedy. was someone trying to blackmail her? take the money and run, cash a rubber mask and a loaded gun. why police were convinced robert durst was about to vanish. what we've learned about the final days before his sensational capture. deadly consequences. our nbc news investigation, drivers with dozens of duis. how are so many winding up back on the road? and "making a difference." what one kid did with a set of legos will astound you and maybe change lives. "nightly news" begins
right now. from nbc news world headquarters in new york this is "nbc nightly news." reporting tonight lester holt. good evening. is it safe to go there? against the speck tor of terrorism it's a question so many ask before venturing off on overseas vacations these days. sadly for dozens of tourist who is are about to visit one of the important museums of the arab world, the answer proved no at least for today. in tunisia's mediterranean capital armed gunmen opened fire. they killed at least 19 people and wounded around 50. most of them vacationers from europe. many had just arrived on cruise ships. nbc's katy tur has been working this story for us all day and has more. >> reporter: guns drawn, tunisian officers scramble to evacuate tourists from the museum. one describes her terror as police told her to get out fast saying you must run,
you must run. the gunmen killed at least 19 people. others were held hostage. tunisian forces finally killed two gunmen but others may still be at large. the bardo museum is next to parliament which went into lockdown during the standoff. members of parliament sang the national anthem in defiance. tunisia's prime minister said our nation is in danger. the arab spring began in tunisia in 2011 but the country has been struggling since. >> in addition to the arab spring providing opportunities for democratic growth in tunisia, unfortunately it also unleashed a wave of radicalism. >> reporter: an estimated 3,000 tunisians have joined isis in syria and iraq more than any other country. and terrorism threatens crucial tourism. should there be a worry about traveling to tunisia now? >> no i hope not. i mean this is -- if foreign tourists stop
coming to tunisia, the extremists will have won. the goal of the extremists who carried out this horrible attack is to basically undermine the political process. to basically sow fear and convince tourists not to visit tunisia. >> reporter: tourists were caught in the attack. others are now likely to think twice before coming. katy tur, nbc news london. now to a story that continues to fascinate here at home. the case of real estate heir accused of murder the evidence uncovered led police to believe robert durst left his houston home and never intended to come back. checking into a new orleans hotel room to hide from authorities and possibly planning to flee the country. nbc's stephanie gosk is on the story for us from new orleans. >> reporter: the police believe robert durst was getting ready to run. even though he says he didn't kill susan berman. in houston investigators searched his home for new evidence. nbc news obtained the warrant. the documents show that police estimate
the real estate heir is worth $100 million. since october of last year detectives say durst had been withdrawing large sums of money from his bank account. most often with daily withdrawals of $9,000. after the 71-year-old's arrest in new orleans, police found more than $42,000 in his hotel room. $100 bills kept in small envelopes. also found in the room a loaded gun with four rounds a rubber mask which would cover an individual's head and neck and u.p.s. tracking numbers. a shipment of a large sum of cash. the warrant reveals details of at least some of the evidence los angeles police had collected in the murder of susan berman. as early as 2002 investigators suspected it was probable durst wrote an anonymous letter to police telling them where to find susan berman's body. the letter with the address and word
cadaver was revealed in "the jinx." filmmakers confronted durst with the note along with a letter he sent to susan berman. >> i wrote this one. i did not write the cadaver. >> reporter: last november two document analysts idded durst as the author of the cadaver letter and envelope. among the items houston police seized in his home three books, two copies of "a deadly secret" and "without a trace," investigations into his tumultuous life. durst's lawyer tells nbc news that handwriting analysis is "junk science." he points out law enforcement once identified a different suspect in the berman case using the same technique. tonight, durst is in a mental health facility. law enforcement officials here say he is at suicide risk. lester. >> stephanie gosk, thank you ncht tonight, authorities are investigating death threats against u.s. ambassador to japan caroline kennedy. the target of chilling phone calls just as
first lady michelle obama arrives in tokyo. nbc's chris jansing tells us more. >> reporter: she is arguably the most recognizable u.s. ambassador anywhere in the world. and today caroline kennedy kept up her public schedule with a speech. last night dinner with bill clinton and the japanese prime minister. even as japanese television reported she got a series of death threats last month. >> japan is a safe country, so everybody surprised. >> reporter: police say the phone calls were made by a man who spoke english, and the motive may be blackmail. threats were also made against the u.s. consul in okinawa. >> we're working with the japanese government to ensure necessary security measures are in place. >> reporter: the reports came as first lady michelle obama touched down for her first visit to japan where she's expected to meet with the ambassador. kennedy, who's now 57 came to japan in 2013. >> i can't imagine a better job than being
ambassador to japan. >> reporter: she's well known there. all threats are taken seriously. >> you have to moderate and change your patterns of travel. and just simple things like going out with your family for dinner suddenly takes on a new meaning. >> i'm bleeding here. bleeding here. >> reporter: democratic security in asia has been under increased scrutiny since the attack on ambassador lippert. we're told president obama is aware of threats against ambassador kennedy. state department officials say there's no change in how the embassy is guarded but won't comment on the ambassador ambassador's personal security detail. chris jansing, nbc news the white house. the course has been chosen in israel. prime minister benjamin netanyahu will stay in power. his comeback election already having a ripple effect across the middle east. and it may have just set american peace plans in the region back to the drawing board. andrea mitchell has more from jerusalem. >> reporter: benjamin netanyahu marked his overnight triumph with
a prayer at the western wall a holy shrine. and a promise to care for the security of all israelis. only hours after a celebration of his come-from-behind victory. >> that's incredible. everybody buried him. i'm sorry, but this is fantastic. >> reporter: but to win netanyahu took a hard right turn warning his supporters that israeli arabs were voting in droves and reversing his commitment to a palestinian state. that drew sharp criticism from the white house. president obama in ohio today did not call netanyahu to congratulate him. secretary state kerry did call him during a break in those nuclear talks with iran on a deal netanyahu vehemently opposes. closer to home where fortified walls separate israel from the palestinians the election results hit hard. here in the west bank palestinians reacted with anger and frustration to
netanyahu's decisive victory, especially his election eve declaration that he's now against the creation of a palestinian state. here people say they feel imprisoned and squeezed economically. >> we have to resist occupation not violently. and we should not have hopes in any possible negotiations with such a government. >> reporter: many israelis also oppose their government's hard line against peace talks. netanyahu's policies on everything from the palestinian state to palestinian settlements to iran have put him on a collision course with the obama white house. and now what this promises to make a contentious relationship even more difficult. lester. >> andrea mitchell in jerusalem, thank you. yet another fraternity is accused tonight of bringing shame to its campus. the national headquarters of kappa delta rho has already suspended its penn state chapter after disturbing pictures of young women students were posted on secret facebook pages. now police are asking for more victims to come forward.
nbc's gabe gutierrez has more. >> reporter: penn state university is calling what police say happened behind these walls appalling. >> i'm very committed to making sure that we know exactly who is responsible. >> reporter: kappa delta rho now suspended for a year after pictures of nude and sometimes unconscious female students were discovered on two private facebook pages. and police say were secretly set up by the fraternity. >> they're embarrassing and illegal photos. and that's unacceptable. >> reporter: the search warrant reveals the first page titled covert business transactions and shut down when police say one of the women accidentally spotted a topless picture of herself on a computer at the fraternity. a former fraternity brother who blew the whistle said a second page was set up that included more explicit photos and images of drug sales and hazing. how widespread is this type of culture sfl. >> it's huge. it's everywhere. >> reporter: her group helps victims of sexual assault. >> it's so upsetting.
i think what's more upsetting is how it doesn't surprise me. >> reporter: it's the latest fraternity scandal. after this video of a racist chant from a university of oklahoma went viral. today sigma alpha epsilon announced an extensive review of all chapters. >> i was disgusted. i was demoralized. i was embarrassed. >> reporter: today, the university of wisconsin's chi phi chapter kicked off campus for allegations of hazing. a new chapter just disbanded after members caused $400,000 in damage at a ski lodge. at penn state students are outraged but not shocked. >> things like this happen. and it's really upsetting. >> reporter: tonight, members of kappa delta rho are still living here inside their house. police say criminal charges are possible. and the fraternity's national headquarters says it is cooperating fully with the investigation. lester. >> all right, gabe thank you. a tense day in and around mesa arizona
after an hours long manhunt. police have captured the alleged gunman who went on a shooting rampage opening fire at a motel then shooting a student in a carjacking before being pinned down in an apartment complex. in all one person is dead five more are wounded. authorities say the motive for the killings is still unclear. jurors in the boston marathon bomb trial saw pictures today of two unexploded pipe bombs that were thrown at police during the shootout in watertown. both had bbs glued inside presumably to act as shrapnel. gloves found in the tsarnaev brothers' car had blood that matched the dna of m.i.t. officer sean collier who was murdered. and the jury heard that tamerlan tsarnaev bought two backpacks the day before the marathon bombings. high drama in washington where tonight the latest tug of war involves a bill to combat human trafficking that somehow spiralled into an argument over abortion. and a president's nominee for attorney
general is caught in the middle with tempers beginning to flare. nbc's kelly o'donnell is on capitol hill. >> reporter: caught in a washington waiting game. >> good morning, are you concerned about your confirmation? >> reporter: 130 days after president obama chose loretta lynch to be attorney general, still no vote to confirm her. lynch has waited longer than the past five attorneys general. in that span boston was buried in more than 100 inches of snow and the kentucky wildcats had enough time to win 34 straight basketball games. today, a top senate democrat compared lynch's treatment by senate republicans to civil rights icon rosa parks. >> the first african-american woman nominated to be attorney general is asked to sit in the back of the bus when it comes to the senate calendar. >> reporter: republican leaders say lynch will get her confirmation vote but not before the senate passes a bill to help survivors of human
trafficking. many democrats supported that bill but last week claimed they did not know it contained a provision that blocks government funds for most abortions. language republicans say was in the legislation for months. >> they didn't know it was there. they didn't read the bill apparently. >> reporter: democrats refuse to move forward unless that provision is dropped. so for now loretta lynch is left waiting. kelly o'donnell, nbc news the capital. there's a lot more to tell you about here tonight. out of control, repeat drunk drivers getting duis over and over again. how is it they're still on the road? what our nbc news investigation found all across the country. also a dinner alert. why kraft is recalling millions of in small business you have to work hard, know your numbers, and stay focused. i was determined to create new york city's first self-serve frozen yogurt franchise. and now you have 42 locations. the more i put into my business the more i get out of it. like 5x your rewards when you make select business purchases
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we're back with an nbc news investigation that has uncovered case after case of convicted drunk drivers allowed back on the roads time and time again because of laws that are unable to keep them from endangering lives all over again. nbc's national investigative correspondent jeff rossen has that report. >> reporter: under the influence and out of control. this is the driver. it was his third dui. other drunk drivers smashing into traffic, their cars flying into the air. watch as this repeat drunk driver drags an officer down the
street when she tries to escape her third dui. she's pled not guilty. >> they're still out there. and they need to be put in jail. >> reporter: ellie fips was driving to the gym one morning when this drunk driver with half a dozen prior duis smashed into her shattering her spine. now she's forced to wear this back brace everywhere. >> it basically turns our roads into a game of russian roulette. it's a death trap. >> reporter: our investigation found repeat offenders across the country. this guy has 14 duis. this one has 16. but this guy may be the worst, 27 dui convictions. but today a free man. >> it's more than staggering. it's off the charts and off the charts wrong. >> reporter: believe it or not several states have such weak laws if no one's hurt no matter how many times they're busted it's still just a misdemeanor. one of those states colorado.
45 other states have tougher drunk driving laws than colorado. sitting here as the governor for four years, why is that? >> well i think the legislature didn't feel -- they saw the decline in drunk driving fatalities they felt the problem was being solved and yet they didn't realize they continued to get caught repeated times. and we weren't putting them in jail. >> reporter: the governor telling us he's confident they'll pass a tougher law this year. ellie and victims like her say it's long overdue. jeff rossen nbc news denver. up here tonight, the prince of wales in america. what he told us a hey, girl. is it crazy that your soccer trophy is talking to you right now? it kinda is. it's as crazy as you not rolling over your old 401k. cue the horns... just harness the confidence it took you to win me and call td ameritrade's rollover consultants. they'll help with the hassle by guiding you through the whole process step by step. and they'll even call your old provider. it's easy. even she could do it. whatever, janet. for
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they're the best selling toy in the world, the basis for a mega hit movie and the bane of barefooted parents everywhere. legos make the imaginable tangible. one young man found the use that wasn't on any box cover which could make a difference for millions. nbc's joe fryer has his story. >> reporter: it takes real vision to picture what no one else can in a pile of tiny plastic building blocks. how much do you love legos? >> a lot. a lot. >> reporter: legos have always helped shubham banerjee bring his imagination to life but who could have imagined this. shubham was just 12 years old when he pieced together bricks from an advanced lego kit to reveal a tool for the blind.
a braille printer made of legos. >> yeah. >> reporter: inspiring. most printers cost up to $2,000 and can weigh 40 pounds or more. shubham wants to build one a quarter the cost and weight. while his lego prototype prints only a letter at a type a faster lego-less version is in the works. now 13 years old, shubham even founded a company called braigo labs which hopes to release the printer by year's end. >> my goal is to definitely help all the unfortunate people who don't have the money or the resources to be literate in braille. >> reporter: he's traveling the world promoting his creation and smoozing investors like intel. also getting advice from hobi who has been blind since birth and says a cheaper printed is needed. >> students want to learn braille or know braille are going to be able to read whatever they want whenever they want. >> reporter: all thanks to a teenager
who proves that true vision comes from the heart. joe fryer, nbc news santa clara, california. there's a young man with a real future ahead of him. that's going to do it for us on this wednesday night. i'm lester holt. for all of us at nbc news, thank you for watching and good night. . jamie fox and katie holmes under cover romance? the new pic that's got everyone saying they can't hide it anymore. >> now, on "extra." >> tom cruise's ex and his good
friend reportedly in in a no strings attached romance, spied holding hands and playing footsy. >> there is a rumor you and katy holmes are sleeping together. they are hooking nick up with another lady. shocking suicid confession. what pulled him back from the brink after his divorce. and new rumors he has found love again. >> what's going on with you two. the pregnanty shef and her husband murdered. now "extra" uncovers the food network's star's connection to will smith and brad pith. >> as their accused killer is implikted in an unsolved colds case. secrets and spoilers before tonight's two hour drama, sex and cat fighting finale. >> what we are going to do to you guys it's so bad. plus jimmy kimmel a domestic gods. >> i do things that some might call girlie. >> this is "extra" at universal studios, hollywood, the